For the second straight year, the Baltimore Ravens missed out on the playoffs. This time, it wasn't the direct result of a rash of injuries. It was merely a case of the Ravens not playing very well and underachieving once again.
Joe Flacco was especially bad, and he'll be the first to admit that. Coming off of a significant knee injury, Flacco struggled mightily and looked hesitant to push the ball downfield. Owner Steve Biscotti believes the knee injury had something to do with that.
"The recovery from what everybody else says that they are not back completely, did that mess with his mind? Did that mess with his timing, his accuracy?" Bisciotti said, via the team's official site. "I think it did."
Flacco, on the other hand, said the exact opposite. He doesn't think his recovery had anything to do with his struggles, and declared as much weeks ago when he cleaned out his locker.
"I don't think it had an effect on me this year," Flacco said.
So, who's right and who's wrong? Well, one would assume Flacco knows his body better than anyone else, but that doesn't mean he's telling the complete truth when it comes to his knee.
After all, he did admit that his knee probably isn't fully healed, saying this offseason will help in that regard.
"When you are only seven or eight months out of an injury, no matter what it is, there is going to be a growing process for it," Flacco said. "This offseason will definitely help with that."
Biscotti believes Flacco will rebound and "better next year," and the Ravens need him to. After missing the playoffs in back-to-back seasons and seeing their stadium get progressively emptier, the Ravens need a bounce-back year in the worst way.